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 Commentary December 23rd, 2010     
The Editor
Where to begin? So much to do, so much to say, so little time, so little space. Let us, as they say, begin at the beginning:

It’s been a little over 10 years now since we purchased the old San Marcos News Reporter and renamed it The Paper.

It’s been a fun ride.

We’re a small paper but we manage to cover a lot of bases and, apparently, are approved of by a lot of our readers and our advertisers.

At a time when major dailies are losing their circulation and running into major financial difficulties, we’re still here. Our head is above water and we will be around for awhile, thanks to you.

More and more people are calling us to subscribe. We do not yet have a Subscription Departments. Perhaps we should staff that position as there appears to be a lot of people who like what we do. Our family is growing and we are delighted.

As we near this year’s end, I, and Evelyn Madison, our associate publisher and my long time companion, look back over the past 10 years and marvel what we have accomplished. We have grown from a circulation of around 6,000 to 24,000; from covering San Marcos and Lake San Marcos only, to covering Rancho Bernardo, Escondido, San Marcos, Lake San Marcos, San Elijo Hills, Vista, Carlsbad and Oceanside.

We’ve been able to spread our wings and offer local news coverage to all of these communities, gotten to know the community leaders in each area, and are the recipient of many press releases from area civic and service clubs.

The formula we have used to build our paper is a simple one. We try to come up with an outstanding cover story, well illustrated to catch your eye, and, hopefully, cause you to read the first page. Once we get you to turn the page . . . we figure we gotcha! If you explore around and find the Chuckles Column, we gotcha again! Pick up on Paul Van Middlesworth’s always great columns on computers, or the Social Buttefly column, and we gotcha again! Check the Local News and you see a story about your community, perhaps your school or business, and we gotcha again! The point being, we are here to provide you with information and amusement and entertainment, sufficient to warrant your interest and to keep you around for the next century or two.

To help accomplish this we’ve acquired some outsanding writers: Kent Ballard, Frederick Gomez, Claudia Aragon, and, most recently Frank Lorey. We will likely be hearing more from these marvelous reporters and storytellers . . . and we’ve got our eyes and ears out for even more.

We are planning a few new wrinkles for 2011. One idea we have is to persuade our community leaders to write guest commentaries on what is happening within their city government. Mayors, Councilmembers, we’ll give ‘em all a shot. Currently, we have weekly commentaries from both State Senator Mark Wyland and Assemblyman Martin Garrick, but those elected officials closer to home need to have a forum to ‘speak’ to their constituents as well.

Speaking of elected officials, Mayor Sam Abed of Escondido spoke to the Escondido Republican Club Monday. He came loaded for bear and outlined an aggressive plan to balance the budget, accomplish pension reform, to get a handle on hiring practices and salaries paid, to get the unions in line - all mighty tall orders. One hopes he can accomplish even half of the agenda he outlined. (You can read more detailed coverage of Hizzoner’s presentation on page 7 of this week’s issue, under Local News).

We are still opposed to the proposed ball park in Escondido. As structured, we think it’s a total waste of the public’s redevelolpment money. We like Escondido Councilman Ed Gallo’s idea of the Moorad Investor Group ponying up an amount equal to the city of Escondido, for a true partnership. If and when that happens, then I’m likely to jump on board. I do credit Mayor Sam with demanding that the Moorad group come up with some more the green stuff - like about $20 million. But, to my mind, that’s still not enough.

Remember, Moorad trained under Leigh Steinberg, the major agent for world class athletes. He knows how to negotiate backward and forward. Ask for the moon, give little bits and pieces back and make your opponent think he’s really snookered you when, in fact, you wind up winning the negotiation. We think that’s what is happening between Moorad and the Escondido City Council. Moorad is playing the Council like a fish, leading them around by the nose. Right now, I’d bet on Moorad winning. I hate to see it because I think we’re gonna wind up with another White Elephant, equal to if not greater than the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, an annual money loser. It will be interesting.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everybody!

 
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